Drunk driving accident fatalities have steadily declined in the US over the past few decades; however, the numbers remain startlingly high. Especially concerning is that preliminary studies revealed an increase in drunk drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when fewer drivers were on the road. Despite widespread public knowledge about impaired driving, New Hampshire is one of the only states with more DUI arrests in 2019 compared to 2010.
Notwithstanding extensive efforts by safety advocates, politicians, and lobbyists, driving while intoxicated remains one of the top related factors for drivers involved in fatal accidents. The other contributing factors include speeding, failure to yield, improper lane usage, and distracted driving.
Pursuing Compensation After a New Hampshire Drunk Driving Accident
After a New Hampshire drunk driving accident, the at-fault party can face serious civil and criminal penalties. Generally, three types of damages are available after a favorable New Hampshire personal injury lawsuit. These damages include:
- Non-economic, and
- Enhanced compensatory.
Economic damages, sometimes called special damages, refers to the quantifiable, tangible losses an accident victim experienced because of the negligent act. These damages typically include payments for medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and out-of-pocket expenses.
In contrast, non-economic damages, sometimes called general damages, refer to subjective losses. These damages pose more challenges because they can be difficult to quantify. However, typical examples of non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, scarring or disfigurements, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Unlike many other states, New Hampshire does not permit punitive damages; however, the state allows enhanced compensatory damages. Similar to punitive damages, enhanced compensatory damages address cases of gross negligence or intentional conduct. However, establishing intentional conduct is not sufficient to secure these damages.
New Hampshire’s Model Civil Jury Instruction 9.14 provides the three distinct avenues to relief through enhanced compensatory damages. Under the instructions, a jury may award enhanced damages if the jury finds that the defendant’s conduct was more probably than not wanton, malicious, or oppressive.
Courts rarely permit enhanced compensatory damages. An experienced New Hampshire attorney can help injury victims determine the best way to recover the compensation the law entitles.
Contact a New Hampshire Car Accident Victim Attorney
If you or someone you know has suffered serious injuries or died in a New Hampshire car accident, contact the experienced lawyers at Peter Thompson & Associates. The nationally recognized attorneys at our office have represented New Hampshire injury victims in a myriad of cases. In addition to New Hampshire DWI injury lawsuits, our firm handles medical malpractice, wrongful death, nursing home abuse, and premises liability cases. We have secured significant amounts of compensation on behalf of our clients. Contact our office at 800-804-2004 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney on our team.